A local WNEP news report states the owner of a Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, bridal boutique whose business was downgraded and insulted on social media after she refused to service two lesbians due to her religious beliefs says her business is open and that the Facebook post indicating the shop is “permanently closed” is a lie.
“Folks with W.W. Bridal did not want to speak on camera but told Newswatch 16 they want customers to know the truth: the Facebook post is a lie. It is business as usual at the dress shop,” states the report.
“I do know they’ve been under a lot of pressure from people in the community to treat people equally, and I know as a business owner I would like to treat my customers the same way I would like to be treated,” said Dwayne Heisler who organized a group that requested the Bloomsburg Town Council pass an ordinance that would ban businesses from discriminating against customers based on their sexual orientation.
“I think that’s something that a majority of the businesses downtown feel,” Heisler said. “This is something that’s really needed.”
Heisler, a member of the Democrat State Committee in Pennsylvania, is newly “married” to his partner and is the owner of two businesses, The Remit Corporation, a collection agency, and Doggy Bag To Go, a homemade dog treats company.
– Dwayne Heisler (@dwayneheisler) August 13, 2014
The bridal shop’s outgoing message was changed Tuesday and now states, “Please be advised that we are not closing our business.” The message also indicates that the shop owners are “recording all phone numbers and messages.”
Media coverage of the Bloomsburg Town Council meeting on Monday evening focused primarily on Heisler and his narrative of discrimination and unequal treatment of the lesbians. No mention was made by Heisler or other opponents of the bridal shop in television media reports that religious beliefs and shop owner preferences could be subjugated to the government with an ordinance.
Breitbart News contacted local NBC affiliate KPLCtv.com for comments about its biased coverage of the issue, with no reporting of citizens in support of the bridal shop owner, but requests for comment were not returned.
Bloomsburg Town Council Administrator William Lowthert confirmed to Breitbart News that the town council meeting Monday evening was “overflowing” with citizens wanting to hear about the issue. He said that TV media left the meeting after Heisler spoke about a possible ordinance. Lowthert added that Heisler was the only individual on the agenda to speak, though other citizens spoke at the end of the meeting who had not signed up in time to be on the official agenda.
Lowthert told Breitbart News that some citizens at the end of the meeting spoke up in support of the bridal shop owners’ constitutional rights as well as the rights of businesses.
According to Lowthert, the council itself did not comment much on the issue.
“The Community and Economic Development Committee will review the proposal for an ordinance and then will make their recommendations and forward them to the Council,” he said.
Following the town council meeting, Heisler retweeted a message by Press Online reporter Peter Kendron:
As he left meeting, @dwayneheisler said he was happy with council’s response. He plans to keep close tabs on ordinance draft’s progress
– Peter Kendron (@PEKendron) August 11, 2014